U.S. consumers plan to spend more on consumer electronics this holiday season, as technology garners a larger share of holiday gift budgets, according to a new survey released today by the Consumer Electronics Association. (CEA)

The industry trade group 16th annual Holiday Purchase Pattern Study conducted in September found that four out of five adults (80 percent) plan on buying CE products this holiday season, the highest results in the 16 years of the survey.

Consumers said they plan on spending an average of $222 on consumer electronics, a gain of eight percent over last year. Half of consumers (48 percent) also plan to buy a CE product for themselves this holiday.

“Pent up demand for technology products is evident in consumers’ gift wish lists and holiday CE purchase plans,” said Steve Koenig, CEA’s director of industry analysis. “Some twenty percent of consumers say they plan to spend more on gifts compared to last year, with electronics leading the way.”

Consumer electronics comprise four of the top 10 items on adults’ holiday gift wish list, with computers and video games ranking two and three respectively behind clothes. Televisions and digital cameras also made the list. Several emerging technologies, such as Blu-ray players, eReaders and netbooks, are also among the most wanted and hottest gifts this season. These products are in adults’ top ten CE wish list for the first time, joining mainstays such as notebooks, portable MP3 players and flat-panel TVs.

Netbooks are another hot category, especially among teens, ranking in the top ten CE gift wish list of that age group for the first time. Portable MP3 players, video game consoles, and digital cameras are among the most popular gifts consumers are planning on giving their friends and family this year.